Bacalao al pil pil (Confit cod with an emulsion of extra virgin olive oil and garlic) with roasted potatoes Recipe

Classic dish from the Basque Country that will surprise you when making it and when tasting it.

  • Preparation
  • Cooking time
  • Rest time
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Les ingrédients

Pour people
  • Part one of the recipe
  • Cod steak(s) 150g : 6 whole
  • Garlic clove(s) : 6 whole
  • Red chilli(s) : 2 whole
  • Olive oil : 300 ml
  • Fine salt : 4 pinch(es)
  • Part two of the recipe
  • New potato(es) : 500 g
  • Flat leaf parsley : 0 bunch
  • Fresh thyme : 5 sprig



    Peel the garlic and cut them into 0'5cm slices.
    Wash the chillies and cut them into 1cm rings.

    In a flat wide pan put the garlic, chilli rings and olive oil over a medium heat, once the garlic are golden remove them together with the chillies from the pan .
    Making sure the oil is not too hot put the cod fillets with skin side up, cook for about 5 min until the fish flesh has a nice white colour and flaky appearance. Remove the fish from the pan and keep aside, remove the pan from the heat and allow the oil to cold down almost to a room temperature. The oil should have the natural gelatin from the fish visible.

    Take a clean pan and ladle a little of the oil and a little of the gelatin, with the help of a sieve start combining them with circular movements. When they start to combine together, changing to a bright yellow colour, keep on adding the oil and gelatin slowly, one ladle at the time.
    It should be a hollandaise look alike sauce, thick, rich and bright yellow colour sauce. Check for seasoning .

    Place the cod fillet back into the pan with the sauce and warm up over a medium heat until hot.


    Preheat the oven at 190C

    Wash and cut the potatoes in half or quarters, transfer them into a baking tray with the thyme, springs, oil and season the potatoes and place them in the preheat oven for 45min or until cooked.

    To serve:
    In a deep plate line a bed of potatoes, place the cod fillet on top of it and cover with plenty of sauce, garnish the fish with the garlic crisps, chilli rings and parsley leaves.

Chef's tip

«Pil Pil is from the Basque country language Euskera, meaning "slowly cooked". It's really important to not rush this dish and wait for the oil to cool down otherwise you won't get the emulsion.»

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